The year continues to click right by us.  Here we are on the last week of August -- WOW does it fly.

But more importantly, it's Monday and time for some Tips, Tricks and Info to get you on your way to that new you!

First off, here is an article that is nothing short of terrifying -- really, I'm serious!  This article goes into detail about what will happen to the obesity rates in the United States if we don't seriously do something NOW!

Obesity Rates Are Projected to Soar -- Half the Population . .

My hope is that this next article will be key in avoiding the article I just shared with you.  I've seen it in other countries and a few progressive companies here in the U.S. have been using it.  How cool would it be to be paid to workout out?

Workers Tout The Benefits Of Exercise On The Clock

When it comes to change, the hardest thing is to get started.  I remember speaking to many people over the years that tell me how difficult it is to get the process of change started.  Let's be honest, making changes in any part of your life can be challenging in the beginning.  I think this next article has some great ideas on how to get yourself on track.

4 Tips on How To Get Started

OK, so let's say you have been exercising and are just not seeing the results you want.  Or probably more to the point, you're having trouble staying on track.  You want to make the commitment, but it's a struggle to start or keep it going for any length of time.  You're not alone, lots of people have difficulty starting a new routine, let alone keeping it going till they see their results. This should help:

5 Ways Dieters Sabotage Themselves

If we are going to avoid half of the population becoming obese by the year 2030, we better get started. 

Here's my part, passing on tips, tricks and info that matter.  And if that wasn't enough, I'm currently running DYNAMIC X --  "The Anti-Boot Camp Class", just in case you need a little jump start.  You can get all the info here: DYNAMIC X

Well there's your Monday dose.

Remember, you don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going!

Now Get On Track and Stay On Track!
Well, it's Monday again.  So of course it's time for some information that actually works and saves you the trouble of trying to make sense of all the media hype and misdirection.

The first article is for those of you who are wondering does timing of meals really matter when it comes to putting on or keeping your muscle.  Believe it or not, it actually does matter.  Research has confirmed something that those of us in the fitness community have known for a while, eating an easily digested meal, high in protein and low in fat, directly after your workout preserves and assists you in gaining muscle.  And remember the goal when it comes to transforming your body -- maintain your muscle and shedding the body fat. 

Here's a little help:  Muscle Building Effect of Protein Post Workout

The second article is an excellent read.  Especially for those of you who really don't want to keep track your fitness progress and goals.  Believe me when I say, it doesn't matter until you write it down.  I don't exactly know what mechanism it is, but there is something about writing down a goal that is very motivating and spurs a sense of accountability.  And what better way to achieve a goal than to make yourself truly accountable.  That's how success happens in any realm -- making yourself accountable.

Need a reason?  Here's 5 Reasons to Keep Track of Your Fitness Goals

And then we move to an issue that is always concerning to me, people looking for shortcuts when it comes to weight loss. I have to admit, there are many "diets" that can provide short term weight loss and body transformation, but few of them are truly safe.  And to be quite honest, virtually none of them are something you can keep up for any length of time.  So why bother?  I mean seriously, transforming your body is a lifestyle change that takes time.  It is something that you do step by step -- getting a bit more consistent each day and each week.  Lasting body transformation is not something that happens quickly -- we're talking about changing habits here.  So even the most committed do back step once in a while.  But with a good program, consistent effort and realistic goals, You Can Do It!

Check this out:  The Danger of Weight Loss Shortcuts 

(by the way, holding your breath as a form of body transformation, doesn't work)


Only the real deal info here --

So Get On Track and Stay On Track!
Hello Monday!

It always amazes me how quickly the weekend goes by.  I do hope the information I'm sharing with you on Monday's is really helping you break through your plateaus and achieve new results. There is nothing that will take the wind out of your sails faster than putting in all that time and not seeing the results you deserve.

Just this past weekend I was stopped by a complete stranger, asking for advice on how to get lean. He shared with me his frustrations about his body transformation due to bad information -- believe it or not, he was doing hours of cardio and cutting out certain food groups. This suggestion from a "friend" gave him almost zero results. In fact, he complained that he actually felt as though he had gained fat.  Your body is a machine -- it has to be fed every 3-4 hours a protein, carbohydrate and a healthy fat. And always remember, marketing is for the purpose of selling X amounts of units of a certain product.  Marketing is not sincerely interested in giving you knowledge and products that work wonders -- they're interested in selling hope.  Which often times ends up misleading you.

On to the good stuff.

The first article I want to share is to remind you that just because you don't see the scale moving, doesn't mean you are not making progress.  Yes, I made this point a few weeks back, but found yet another article definitely worth the reminder.

When You're Exercising But Your Body Is Not Changing

Keeping in line with the previous article. Have you ever notice that when someone is in the process of transforming their body, they often seem to be cranky and just plain not in a good space.  Assuming they are not a physique competitor, that's usually a cue that their calories are too low and/or they are way over trained.

How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Sanity

And what Monday post would be complete without a good old reminder about one of my favorites, the importance of interval training, to decrease the wear and tear on your joints, increase your results, and cut your workout time down significantly.

The 30-30 HIIT Cardio Workout

So now that you have information that works ----

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
So it's Monday again.  Where does the time go?  No matter, it's time to give you some more information that will give you the transformation you're looking for before the summer ends.

The first important article I want to share with you is about motivation.  Yes, I realize that is typically my Wednesday topic, but this article came across my desk and I was impressed.  It basically talks about the importance of being clear why you want to transform your body.  Just wanting to be thinner is too vague.  Wanting to look good and fit into a bathing suit, while motivating, may not be quite enough to get you to change the habits that are holding you back.

Check this one out:  How to Give Purpose and Vision to Your Workouts

The second article I would like to share is about getting better results, and who doesn't want that, right?  I can't tell you how many people I see day in and day out, come into the gym, go through a half-hearted workout and then wonder why they don't see their body changing.  It takes more than just showing up to get the results.  Sure, showing up is half the battle, but the other half is putting in the work necessary to make those changes happen.  Coming to the gym to socialize won't give you the changes in your body you're seeking.

Here's 5 Tips To Get More Results From Your Workouts

And as you know me, I've saved the juicy one for last.  Thankfully over the past few weeks I've had several emails and a few personal inquires about how to safely do interval training.  I've always said anyone can do it, but it does take a bit of moderation to get the process started off correctly.  I think this article does a good job of giving you the quick and dirty on how to get started safely.  And then look out -- cause you're going to start seeing massive results when you apply interval training as your cardio of choice. 

Should You Be Trying High Intensity Training?

Quick, short and to the point!  Information you can use to make sure you see the changes you deserve.

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
I'd say we are in the full swing of summer.  Temperatures all across the country are unusually high.  And that means you will need to take a bit more caution and preparation when it comes to keeping up with your workouts.  Remember your body is over 70% water, so staying hydrated is just one issue to consider, especially when training outdoors.  Here's a few other things to keep in mind to be sure that you are able to stay on track with your workouts safely.

How to Exercise In the Heat

OK, so you've been putting in your time in your workouts, but you're still not seeing the results you want and deserve.  Frustrated is probably an understatement right?  Chances are you probably just need a little tweak to your program to get things moving in the right direction.  And I suspect it's a small tweak.  Check out this link to give your own program a quick review and get yourself back on track to making that transformation.

Why Your Weight Loss Efforts May Be Failing


Time and time again I keep hearing people tell me they are not able to lose the weight they want because they are not interested in joining a gym.  Well I've got a little news for you, you don't have to.  Believe me when I tell you there is no magic air at your local gym that creates results.  No, it's the work that you put in while you're there that creates that's change. So know that transforming your body doesn't mean you have to be a member of a gym to get results.  In fact you can transform your body just using body weight exercises! Need a couple of programs or routines to get you started, and save those monthly membership dues? And of course there is always my DYNAMIC X -- The Anti-Boot Camp Class (click here for info).

4 Unique Body Weight Exercises That Burn Fat In 4 Minutes

Short, sweet and to the point.  If you take these Tips, Tricks and Info every Monday and apply them -- you are already on your way to transforming your body and getting the results you deserve. 

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
Well it's Monday again.  I do hope you had a great weekend.  Today I won't waste your time with a lot of verbiage and build up.  Let's just get right into it.

The first article I want to share with you is about how the American past time has gotten completely out of control.  What past time am I referring to. . . . . snacking.  One of the main causes it seems, is that so many of us eat on the go. These days, it seems there are not as many of the old family dinners many of us grew up with. In fact in my household for many years it was required that we all make time to sit down and have a meal as a family.  It was an excellent opportunity to not only assure a good meal was being consumed, but it was also a good time to be a "family".  We are all so busy much of the time we don't make time to actually sit down and eat as often as we used to, whether it's by ourselves, with family or friends.

Believe me this is rather eye-opening. The American Diet Then and Now


The second article was just too outrageous to not include today.  It's basically a review of how ridiculously high in calories some of the foods are at your local dinner and fast food joint.  There is actually a shake that is listed, from a rather popular food establishment, that is over 2,000 calories and contains more than 3 days worth of Saturated fat, in just one 24 oz. serving.  OUCH!

Definitely worth the read, if for no other reason than to see if any of your own favorites are on the list.  Top 8 Calorie Heavy Meals


Okay.

So let's say the above 2 articles don't really apply to you.  But at the same time you're really not where you want to be physically. Maybe you want to be a bit leaner.  Perhaps you have just have a few pounds left to get you to your goal.  I think this next one will do just the trick to get you over that little hump and seeing the results you want.  Getting Lean -- Fine Tuned, Raw, and Real

So now you have the info:

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
For quite some time now I've been asked to create a group training class that uses all of the techniques of re-alignment, core strengthening, and yes, good old fashioned weight loss.  But I have to be honest, when we start talking about large numbers of members, I was concerned that everyone have a positive experience and in fact -- get results.  Getting each member to perform the exercises correctly in a large group can be more than a challenge.  I don't want to create just any old boot camp experience, I've heard too many horror stories of injured backs, shoulders, and knees.

Besides, just jumping around and breaking a sweat anyone can do.  I want to create an experience where losing weight is the least of what you get from my class.  I want you to not only feel better, but function better.

If I'm going to create a class, I decided it would have to be with the same attention to detail and intensity that the Energy F/X Fitness brand is known for. 

So here comes DYNAMIC X.  All of the unique exercises you need to function better, the appropriate fitness level for each member, and the good old fashioned intensity that creates serious change.

Want to know more?

Check out the flyer below--

I have to apologize right up front.  I realized today, after thinking a little deeper on the issue, I may have mislead and confused some people. I claim that I want to give all of you accurate, practical information that will help you achieve your goals.

So for the record, let's get this specific issue clear.

Over the past week I have received several questions asking, "If I'm not losing weight (on the scale) am I still making progress in my training?"  This is an excellent question and a great one for Mid-Week Motivation.

The short answer is Yes!

Remember, a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of fat, which both weight the same as a pound of muscle. 

The difference is one of space.

Think of body fat as taking up the space of a grapefruit, while the same weight of muscle would only take the space of a tangerine.  So while you may not see the numbers change on the scale, you should notice a difference in how your clothes fit -- because your muscle takes up less space, you should see the progress in inches first, not weight.

What I mean by that is, you may not see your loss of body fat on your typical bathroom scale, but that does not mean you haven't gotten rid of some unwanted body fat.

When you begin a good nutrition and exercise program it is not unusual to initially see the overall body weight number on your typical bathroom scale actually go up. 

Why?

Because if you're like most of the population, chances are you've been under-eating.  Meaning, you've probably been consuming way too many carbohydrates and not near enough protein to feed your muscles properly.  So when you start eating properly, your muscles soak up all those extra calories because they have been starving all this time.  And in most cases, the muscles soak up the good nutrients a bit faster than you are able to burn off the extra body fat (stored sugar for energy).

To take it one step further and hopefully make this a bit more clear, think of it this way.  From what I've gathered from my research, we are all born with a certain number of fat cells and a certain number of muscles cells.  The amount of each of these does not change!

What does change is the size (volume, amount of space they take up) of each of those types of cells.  You can shrink your fat cells through exercise and good nutrition, thus creating a "smaller", healthier you.  While at the same time slightly increasing your muscle cells (which take up less space) which thus allow you took look smaller, feel better, and live longer, all without seeing much change on your typical bathroom scale.

So again, YES, you may still be making progress even if you don't see the number decreasing on your typical bathroom scale.

Lastly, I've been saying "typical bathroom scale" throughout this blog, because technology has now advanced to a point where you can buy a bathroom scale that will provide you with a body composition number (body fat compared to lean muscle).  They are relatively inexpensive and do a decent to good job of giving reliable information on which to base your progress.

So don't get down on yourself just because you don't see the number decreasing on your typical bathroom scale.  Instead, get a better bathroom scale, keep planning your meals in advance to stay on track, and get your exercise in consistently with no excuses.

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
We made it to the end of another productive week.

Since it's Friday I wanted to make sure to share with you another exercise to add to your locker of exercises to keep your routines fun, fresh, and challenging.

I've received a few questions asking for alternatives to jumping rope during circuit training.  Not everyone likes, nor can handle the impact of rope jumping.  You're in luck.  I have just the movement to help keep your hips flexible, your core working and your heart rate moving.

When I was a kid the movement was called squat thrusts and part of the Presidents Fitness Council protocol that we all had to do as part of Physical Education class.  Well times are a changing for sure, but this exercise is still one of the most challenging cardio movements I know.  The beauty of the movement is that no matter what your fitness level almost anyone can do it in modified form. 

It's a great movement to use between 3-5 resistance (weight lifting) movements to keep your heart rate elevated and give that "sprint" feeling (think interval training) between the lower heart rate of weight lifting.  In addition, because we tend to sit so much as a society, it allows you an opportunity to keep your hips flexible and functional so you can decrease your chances of back pain from stiff, inflexible hips.

In the video below I share with you 4 different versions that should meet just about any fitness level. 

So now you have no more excuses for not including a cardio component in your circuits.

And as a side note, always remember to engage your core as your perform this movement.

Happy July 4th.  As promised here you go!

I feel like it's time for this post.  Whether it's in person at the gym, or through email, people often ask me, "what are the things I absolutely have to do to get my body to change quickly".  Now 9 times out of 10 I usually try to avoid this question because if I give you the 5 things that absolutely need to be done, most people do 3.  And then they wonder why they aren't getting results. 

But, I figure I've been asked enough at this point that it's about time to give you the secrets to getting the body you want in as short a period of time as possible.

Ready?

There are literally 5 things that you absolutely have to do to get your body to change quickly.  You follow these 5 rules and I can virtually guarantee you will get the body you want in as short a period of time as possible.  This isn't based on theory, these are the techniques I use with my clients that get results fast!

1.) Warm-up:
Take the time to do a good 10-15 minute warm-up. And I don't mean going to jump on some piece of cardio equipment. Research shows that's a waste of 10-15 minutes.  Instead, do some self massage.  It will serve the same purpose of getting your body ready for exercise, and even better, it helps to alleviate the knots and tight muscles that come from sitting or standing all day long.  Truth be known, it will also decrease your chances of injury dramatically.  Need a little reminder (self-massage warm-up)

Follow this warm-up with some good old fashioned stretching.  Yes, the jury is still deliberating as to whether stretching is beneficial, but my experience has been it works wonders to prepare your muscles for the workout ahead. Here's a quick reminder on the stretches (warm-up stretches)

2.) Core:
From what I can tell too many people leave training their midsection to last, when they are tired from their workout.  And then if they do actually train their abs/core, it's half-hearted at best, usually only doing some kind of crunches, and thus get little to no benefit.  Training your core is as important, if not more important, than any other body part. Here's couple to get you started (core exercise examples)

3.) Resistance:
If I haven't done a good job of it before, let me clarify now, if you want to change your body and get lean, resistance exercise is the absolutely the best way to do this.  And to the women out there who think lifting weights will make you bulky, not so. Women typically do not produce enough testosterone to even come close to creating the bulky physique they worry about.

That being said, resistance training doesn't have to be lifting weights.  You can use bands, suspension straps, or traditional weights if you prefer.

Circuit                                                                                 Circuit   
Squats (with flavor -- see my you tube channel)                Squats (with flavor --you tube channel)
Lateral Raises                                                                     Chest Press (dumbbell)
Split Squats                                                                        Rear Deltoids
Push ups                                                                             Lunge (back) to Bicep Curls
Deadlifts                                                                             Deadlifts
Back (seated row)                                                               Triceps
Step up to balance and shoulder press                                  Pull-ups
Bicep Curls (dumbbell)                                                         Lunge (back) to Shoulder Press
Tricep Push-downs                                                               Breast Stroke (see you tube channel)
Jump Rope --- 70-100 times                                                 Jump Rope -- 70-100 times
                                                                                        
Circuit_3_Cheat_Sheet.pdf                                            Circuit_3a_Cheat_Sheet.pdf

4.) Cardio:
If you've been following my blogs for any length of time you know I'm big on doing intervals for cardio.  Because it gets the job done quickly with minimal damage to the knees, hips, and lower back.

Equally effective and a big favorite of mine is kettle bells.  With some proper instruction, this activity is the absolute best for burning calories, strengthening your core, as well as building some solid muscle in the hips and glutes (butt).

Follow this program with a good cool down stretch (the same movements you did to warm-up) and you should be on your way to a transformed body in a few weeks.

5.) Nutrition:
I'll keep this short, as this is becoming a bit long.  Whether you call it the Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet or anything else, staying with lean meats, minimal starchy carbs such as breads and pastas, plenty of veggies, and some nuts is the best way to go.  Need a little more clarification?  Here you go (nutrition made easy).

Get on Track and Stay on Track!